Timelapse

Data Visualization
Time Inc. and Google 2013

Platforms: Web-based

The goal of data visualization is to present complex information in a more intuitive way using graphics that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Timelapse documents profound changes to our planet through millions of high-definition satellite images—from 1984 to the present—shown in time-lapse video. Captured by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat program, Google stitched the images together to show melting glaciers in Alaska, deforestation in the Amazon, urban sprawl in Dubai and more, viewable at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs.

Year Walk

Interactive Fiction
Simogo 2013

Platforms: iPad, iPod touch, iPhone

Inspired by an ancient Swedish legend, this first-person adventure-puzzle takes players on a mystical journey that weaves together the real and supernatural, and traverses two- and three-dimensional worlds. Assuming the role of a nameless protagonist in search of his beloved, cross the eerie Scandinavian landscape by side-scrolling and moving up and down at key points. Along the way, encounter frightening beings, horrifying scenes and mind-bending riddles that will challenge even seasoned puzzle-gamers. Year Walk’s enchanting aesthetic, seamless navigation and cleverly disguised clues create a captivating experience that strikes an impressive balance between story and game.

The Silent History

Location-based Storytelling
Eli Horowitz, Kevin Moffett, Matthew Derby, and Russell Quinn 2012

Platforms: iPad, iPhone

The Silent History explores a new form of storytelling that bridges digital and physical spaces. The eerie tale of a generation of silent children unfolds across two narrative layers. Testimonials, daily dispatches of the serialized novel synced to the reader’s mobile device, are supplemented by reader-contributed Field Reports, site-specific audio and text snippets that extend the fictional story into real places in cities across the country. To access a Field Report, the reader must be in the place where it’s been pinned on the map—a street corner, café or park. There are over 250 Reports in San Francisco, London, and Brisbane. A pin has even been dropped in the Oval Office.

Veronica Mars Kickstarter Campaign

Crowdsourcing
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution 2013

Platforms: Web-based

Technology not only helps tell stories, it also determines which stories are told and how. Bent on making a film based on the critically-acclaimed TV series Veronica Mars, starring Kristen Bell, creator Rob Thomas tapped into the social media fundraising page Kickstarter. Skeptical about fan support for the show, which ended in 2007, Warner Bros. agreed to back the film if Thomas could prove there was enough interest. With a modest goal of $2 million, Thomas launched the site, raising the money in under 12 hours and breaking numerous Kickstarter records. The film currently boasts more than 91,000 backers and has raised close to $6 million. The film will be released in early 2014.

Aim High

Transmedia/Web-based Storytelling
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution 2011

Platforms: Web-based, Facebook, YouTube

This groundbreaking “social series” was the first to debut on Facebook from a major Hollywood studio. It allows fans to become a part of the story by seamlessly integrating their profile information—including photos, status updates and friends—into the series. By choosing to watch Aim High in a personalized viewing mode through the show’s Facebook page, viewers can see themselves integrated into select scenes—such as having their name written into graffiti on the bathroom wall or their photos on student body election posters. Fans can also share comments, scenes and tweets about the show.

Epic Rap Battles of History

Web Series
Maker Studios 2011

Platforms: Web-based

The rise of online video has inspired a new crop of digital stars like Snoop Lion, The Gregory Brothers and LisaNova. Founded by YouTube artists, Maker Studios is the only network dedicated to supporting established and emerging YouTube talent through production and marketing services. Nice Peter’s Epic Rap Battles of History is one of the studio’s most successful ventures. Nearly 5.5 million subscribers have tuned in to Rasputin vs. Stalin, Moses vs. Santa Claus, or the latest episode in this hilariously addictive, rap-slap showdown between cultural figures through the ages. Winner of four Streamy Awards, the YouTube sensation has captured over 500 million views to date.

H+: The Digital Series

Transmedia/Web-based Storytelling
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution 2012

Platforms: Web-based, YouTube

Visual storytelling, once the domain of movie theatres and living rooms, is now a portable commodity, with viewers connecting from anywhere, anytime. In an eerily voyeuristic experience, H+: The Digital Series lets us watch as humanity goes online 24/7 with a stunning new device that implants a tiny computer system in the body, allowing the mind and nervous system to be connected to the Internet. But, in this groundbreaking Web series from renowned director Bryan Singer, something terrible occurs—within seconds, billions of people are dead, leaving survivors to make sense of what went wrong. The series won “Best Direction” and “Best Action or Sci-Fi Series” at the 2013 Streamys.

Interactive Music Videos

Chris Milk @radical media, “Beck: Hello Again,” Performed by Beck, Original Music by David Bowie, 2013, www.hello-again.com/beck360/main/beck360.html. 360° cameras, 360° binaural audio, facial tracking technology.

OKFocus, “Not the Same,” Music by Tanlines, 2013, www.notthesa.me. HTML 5 alpha channels.

Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk, “Wilderness Downtown,” Music by Arcade Fire, 2011, thewildernessdowntown.com. HTML 5, Google Maps data and images.

Moniker, “Kilo,” Music by Light Light, 2013, http://donottouch.org. HTML 5, crowdsourced data.

From Facebook integration to live geo-location, next-generation music videos swap passive listening for active engagement. By experimenting at the crossroads of music and technology, artists and producers like Aaron Koblin, Chris Milk, and Beck are inventing new interactive and participatory forms of musical storytelling. Take part in the five musical adventures presented here.

Welcome to Pine Point

Interactive Web Documentary
Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge (“The Goggles”)
Produced by National Film Board of Canada 2011

Platforms: Web-based

Part book, part film, part website, this first-ever digital project by the former creative directors of Adbusters magazine invites viewers to explore an interactive scrapbook of memories from the inhabitants of a bygone mining community in Canada. Pine Point’s handmade aesthetic lends the tactile warmth of a traditional photo album, while its expressive collage of music, voice-over narration, photos, home videos and interactive surprises brings new life to this familiar format. First released in late 2010, Pine Point had garnered two Webby Awards and 150,000 views by June 2011.

CNN Money 60 Seconds of Salary

Data Visualization
Turner Broadcasting April, 2013

Platforms: Web-based

Data visualization is the art of communicating complex information through stylized graphics which are designed to present the material in a familiar and accessible way. In CNNMoney's "60 Seconds of Salary" viewers can see how much NBA star Kobe Bryant makes in one minute compared to other occupations, including a physician, a teacher, President Obama, and a minimum wage worker. The graphic uses the idea of a clock face, showing circles for each occupation’s salary. As the seconds tick, Bryant’s “clock” expands past its boundaries, engulfing the other circles.